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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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takes place is likely to depend on three elements of the quality of labor: the actual skills of the labor force which depend upon on-the-job training and formal education; the incentives that exist in the economy; and the degree to which individuals respond to such incentives. Needless to say, incentives also enter the picture in determining the accumulation of physical capital as well as the accumulation of human capital (i.e., education and skills). The point is that part of the acquired qualities of the population that determine development depend upon motivational elements.
If the rate, structure, and pattern of population growth, and its consequences, are in any way related to psychological attitudes concerned with incentives and responsiveness to incentives, then we may obtain a connection between population growth and some of the determinants of economic growth. This relationship may be important despite the fact that there may be aspects of the problem that are exceedingly difficult to measure. We must also include the "negative efforts" to production—the efforts put forth by various people to resist change, to resist the adoption of innovations, whether through legislation, the support of constraints, featherbedding practices, and so on. There is almost no direct evidence on how incentives and degrees of responsiveness to incentives are related to different rates of population growth. As we proceed we shall see that some tenuous clues exist on this matter in the literature on semistarvation, and on the relations between family achievement and family size. There are suggestions that psychological variables, such as apathy in the case of hunger and verbal skill formation in the case of "overcrowded" families, may be of importance. There is also in the Literature some exceedingly tenuous evidence on the consequences of maternal deprivation. On this, however, it is exceedingly difficult to know whether it is of any importance from a macro (overall) viewpoint in any economy, or whether the incidence is always so small as to be irrelevant for our purposes.
The important aspect of all this is not that the facts themselves—or their possibilities—are especially new. What is of interest in recent research is that it has been shown that the incentive-responsiveness elements are likely to be of great importance (8) in understanding increases in production, although, unfortunately, the relations of these elements to population growth are, at present, not known.
Micro-Demographic Effects*
Associated with the economic state of the system at any time there are a set of demographic characteristics which affect various aspects of the nurture
*A brief version of this section was presented at the General Conference, London,
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